With the Super Bowl just days away, thoughts have turned to football (and whether or not Katy Perry agreed to the NFL’s controversial ‘pay to play’ offer). This time of year also brings to mind money, or the lack thereof. Firmly into second semester, any money you managed to earn, save or receive as a gift is quickly dwindling away.
So you start thinking about the Super Bowl in a new light. You’ve got it all figured out: Your football fantasy team allowed you to follow key players. You can quote all sorts of stats. You know the strength and weaknesses of key players. You know who is going to win the whole thing. It’s easy money. So maybe getting in on a betting pool or buying a Pro-Line ticket for the big game is an easy way to get some extra cash, right?
Mmmm…probably not. Here are some thoughts to consider before you jump into the betting pool.
1) Football (and other sports betting) isn’t exactly a game of chance but… Even though there is skill involved in picking the team and knowing player stats, (and yes, you probably have an edge over people choosing a team based on uniform colour, insert eye roll) anything can happen - injuries, bad weather, even power outages.
2) This is the big day! Every game has been leading up to the Super Bowl. You don’t need a wager to make it exciting: just a big old TV, some friends and lots of snacks. If you decide to bet, set a limit and most importantly: don’t look at gambling as a way to make money!
3) “But I really need the money!” If you are having financial difficulties, most colleges and universities have financial aid departments that can help with money management workshops, budgeting sessions and if you’re really in a pinch, emergency loans. In the meantime, here are some useful tips to get you through the tight times:
Flash that student card: Don’t be bashful: As a student, you are often eligible for discounts in many stores.
Eat in: Cook meals in versus eating out or ordering in. It adds up. If you have roommates, buy in bulk quantities and share the expenses.
Don’t rely too heavily on your credit card: Sure, it can help you through bumpy times like this. But, you’ve got to pay it back…with interest if you’re slow with payments. If you can’t afford to pay cash, think about whether you really need to buy it.
Be proactive: Avoid parking fines, late fees, overdue charges, ATM fees: they add up! And don’t forget to visit the on-campus Career Centre to look for flexible part-time positions that work within your school schedule.